How To Make Money On YouTube Without Making Videos? (Step By Step)

In this article, I will show you how to make money on YouTube without making your videos.

I know that it sounds too good to be true but there are people who make passive income on YouTube without recording videos.

In fact, you can upload other people’s videos on YouTube and make money from it. However, you should make sure that those videos fall under creative commons license and you are also providing some additional value to the YouTube audience.

To explain with an example, I am going to show you how to create a motivational YouTube channel by compiling together the videos already available on YouTube.

You can implement the same strategy to other types of channels like spirituality, numerology, fitness, or any niche that you are interested in.

Many people are using the strategy covered in this article to make $100/day on YouTube without filming any videos.

You will find many golden nuggets throughout the article. So make sure to read it completely. (Do not miss the bonus section)


Here are the steps to make money on YouTube without making any videos.


Create an optimized YouTube channel

Creating an optimized YouTube channel is very important since that will help you to gain the initial momentum.

Here is some crucial information for you.

  1. Make sure to complete all the necessary setup like uploading your YouTube channel art, having a proper channel name and profile picture.
  2. Do not skip the about section. Please write a few sentences about your channel with relevant keywords sprinkled in it.
  3. Add related channel tags using the VidIQ Chrome extension.
  4. Verify your account so that you can upload custom thumbnails.
  5. Upload your brand logo

Tip: You can use thumbnail split-testing software to drastically improve the click-through rate. Check the software here. That makes sure you always have the best CTR. Check also the YouTube video templates and resources here.

Once you have an optimized YouTube channel, you are one step ahead of your competitors.

Many do not focus much on creating an SEO optimized YouTube channel and skip a few basic settings.

You will not find a significant benefit in ranking your YouTube videos. However, it will send a positive signal to YouTube and also to the viewers coming to your channel.

Research keywords using VidIQ

This is the step that determines how quickly you can grow your YouTube channel. If you do not do proper keyword research, it may take longer for you to see success on YouTube.

You can either do it manually or using VidIQ, which is a chrome extension for your keyword analysis.

I use VidIQ, and hence I am going to show you how to find keywords using VidIQ.

Here you can go and sign up for VidIQ and install the chrome extension.

To begin with the research, go and type your seed keyword / your niche name.

In this case, I will go ahead and search for motivation in the YouTube search bar.


Now, if you scroll down a little, you will find keyword suggestions by VidIQ. 

From that list, pick keywords that are having a score higher than 50.


In this case, I have picked the keywords, stop doubting yourself, Elon Musk motivation, Motivational video 2020.

Now repeat the step using the keywords that you have found.

I used motivational video for 2020 and came with third level keywords like self-discipline affirmations, self-care, and personal development.


You can repeat the steps for many levels to develop more keywords and have more video ideas.

However, do not spend too much time finding keywords and focusing on publishing your first video as soon as possible.

Find videos to compile

Now it’s time to find creative common videos that you can put together and upload to your channel.

For this example, we are going to use self-discipline affirmation as the search term.


Once you get a list of videos from the search result, go to the filter option and choose creative commons license. 


In this way, you will have a list of videos that you can download and use for creating your compilation video.

Put them together

Once you have downloaded the video, use a simple video editing software to put those videos together.

Nothing fancy is required. All you need to do is, just mute the audio and place the clips next to each other. 

Make sure that the order of placing clips looks OK and cut a few if not required.

Adding an intro and outro are optional, but they can give a feel of your channel.

Add a voiceover

Once you are done with that, the last step is to provide a voiceover to the compiled video.

You need not do this as well. Instead, you can simply hire someone on Fiverr and ask them to do a voiceover for your video.

I would initially recommend you to record the audio by yourself. 

You can just use your mobile phone to record your audio and then add it to the video.

However, the choice is yours, and there are tons of channels that are doing this.

Note that you need to provide some extra value when you are reusing the creative commons videos, and hence doing a voiceover is the easy work.

If you can make something different, maybe adding your own music and nice edits that will also qualify your videos to be eligible for monetization.

The key here is to provide some value when you are planning to monetize your YouTube channel without filming your own videos.

Finding performing tags

Now you have your video ready. It’s time to gather the best tags that will help your video to show up on the search result.

We can easily do this by using VidIQ.

Again go back to YouTube and search for your video keyword, in this case we are going to use self-discipline affirmation.

In the list of result videos, open them up in a new tag.

Make sure you do not have any filters since we want to use the tags already used by the videos on top of the search result.

Now go to each video and click on the stats button and scroll down.


Once you scroll down, you will find the list of tags used on that video. You can easily copy them by using the copy to clipboard button.


Repeat the same step for all the top five videos in the search result.

By now, you should have a list of tags copied to a notepad or a word document.

In addition to using the techniques mentioned above, I also recommend you find tags manually since the top five videos might have missed some great tags.

Most people do not do this, so if you do this activity, you will get an edge while competing.

This is not a tedious task. Let me show you how you can do this.

To find tags manually, you are going to use Google search and YouTube search bar.

Since we are already on YouTube, let’s finish that first.

In the search bar again, search our keyword, self-discipline affirmations.

Now simply, click anywhere on the word, and you will find the related search term.


Copy those tags to your notepad and save it.

Now, go to google and search for your keyword and scroll to the bottom.

At the bottom of the page, you will find a lot of related keywords, copy them also to your notepad.



You have successfully gathered a lot of tags that you can use on your YouTube video.

Now it’s time to refine the list by going through it manually.

It may seem like a lot of work, but actually, it will take you a few extra minutes, and these additional minutes can make a significant difference in the reach of your YouTube video.

So, go through all of them and delete the tags that you think are irrelevant and keep the best ones.

Making a great thumbnail

A great Thumbnail can make a huge difference, and many of my videos have a fantastic click-through rate of 25%, and they all rank in the Top 3 spots on the YouTube search result page.

So a good YouTube impression click-through rate is as important as the video.

Here we are going to take a look at the thumbnails of the top videos and simply create a thumbnail similar to those with a small change.

You may think that it will not work, but if you look closely between the videos on the top 10 list, you will find most of them are similar.

Since your videos are going to be the most recent content, immediately that gives a slight advantage over other existing videos.

Many were using live streaming to rank their videos easily before YouTube fixed that issue.

However, the latest videos still have a good advantage.

So do not worry about replicating simpler designs since you are just modeling the success formula.

You can use tools like Canva or Overapp to create YouTube thumbnails.

Many videos on YouTube show you how to create a YouTube thumbnail. 

So, learning to make a Youtube thumbnail should not be a big deal.

Writing a click-worthy title

Creating a click-worthy thumbnail is as vital as your Thumbnail.

Here also, the simple formula is to rewrite a similar title to the top 3 videos.

You can also search for a more competitive keyword and then model the title from that search result so you will have a much better title than your competitors.

I have used this idea for writing titles for my blog posts, where I search for a much competitive keyword and model the title for my less competitive keyword article.

Now go ahead and upload your video to your YouTube channel.


You have successfully uploaded your video without filming or recording your own video.

In case you do not wish to speak, you can upload them with some royalty-free music, and in case your channel does not get approved for AdSense, you can use other ways to monetize your YouTube channel.

Bonus – Viral Videos

If you have come this far, probably then I have a piece of bonus information to blow up your YouTube channel.

This is the technique that many channels use to gain massive subscribers and views.

For this technique, you will need to have a paid VidIQ subscription, and it will cost you around $9 per month.

You can use two ways to find viral videos and get your video next to them in the suggested video section.

Method one goes by finding the top YouTube channel in your niche and finding the videos that are currently going viral.

Then create a similar video with a similar title, description, and tags to take up the suggested spot and gain views from that.

Here is how you can do it.

Go to the popular YouTube channel in your niche. For this example, I am going to use Franklin Hatchett in the make money online niche.


Now click on the trending button to filter the trending videos on his channel.


As you can see, vidIQ pulled out the videos that are getting most views per hour.

However, we need to do further analysis to find if they are currently going viral or got saturated.

To do that, click on the videos and open them up in a new tab.

Make sure that you are opening videos that are at least three days old. Since a massive YouTube channel may get a ton of views from their subscribers and that doesn’t mean the video is going viral.

Now click on the historical data icon and look for an upward trend.

If you see an upward trend, then it means the video is going viral.

However, if you find a graph that is going down or flattened, you should move to the next video.

Side Note: You can still keep these flattened videos on your list when planning to make videos targeted for search traffic.

Alright, I spent some time for you and came up with the graph below, which is also going viral.

Though it’s not a upward trend still you can do for it since it is getting a ton of views and maintaining 50k views per hour.

If you find a trend like that, then you should create a similar video on your channel.

Here we are not going to copy the content of the video. Instead, you can have a different angle of the same content and we will title our video similar to the viral video.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, have a similar thumbnail and description as well.

Please note similar, and I did not mean copying. If you copy the same one, it won’t work since users may not click.

You should get the ideas like color and elements in the thumbnail and create your version.

The second method is also a similar one, where you search your niche or your main keyword in the YouTube search bar and find the trending videos on the right side of the vidIQ section.


Again open them up in new tabs to see the graph and make your decision accordingly.

This activity of finding viral videos will take some time, probably 30 minutes, but it’s worth the time investment since one viral video can get you 4000 watch hours and 1000 subscribers.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it informative.

Please support me by sharing this article with your friends and family.

Frequently asked questions:

How do you grow a YouTube channel from scratch?

The first step is to get started. Doing a lot of research is good, but at the same time, it can trap you in the research phase itself.

And the last step is never to give up.

Whatever the steps that you take in between can evolve, but getting started and keep going is the key to grow your YouTube channel.

I have the 9 step formula that I use whenever I start a new YouTube channel, which you can read here: 9 Steps To Grow A YouTube Channel From Zero.